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First Round Flops

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We are halfway through the fantasy football regular season and I think it's interesting, and painful, to note how poor the performances of many of the first round selections to date. It just goes to show, fantasy leagues are not won in the first round, but they can be lost there.

Let's look at the top-10 selections based on the last RapidDraft Rankings before the season began.

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee, (ADP 1.74) - Ok, you can't call Johnson a flop, but he certainly hasn't matched last year's numbers. He's averaging 94.6 ypg and one touchdown over the first seven weeks. Last season he averaged 125 ypg, another 34 receiving, and one touchdown.

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville, (ADP 1.84) - Flop No.1...MJD has just one rushing touchdown in seven games versus 15 for all last season. He's also cracked the 100-yard mark just once and the inept Jaguars offense doesn't figure to turn it around anytime soon. Jones-Drew is the 19th-ranked running back. If you can trade him for anything close to equal value, pull the trigger immediately.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota, (ADP 2.73) - "All-Day" has produced three very good games and three mediocre ones. That's not a good average for a top-three selection, but it's certainly better than Jones-Drew. You would think a passing offense with Brett Favre, Randy Moss and Percy Harvin would be able to create more running room.

Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore, (ADP 4.12) - Flop No.2...Rice has produced just one good game in seven and now has a bye week coming up. And he's on pace for just four touchdowns which won't be nearly enough to make up for his nine-yard drop in rushing yards-per game. Rice was the fourth back off the board and comes in at No.16 at the mid-point. He's not running with purpose and seems to be dancing around looking to break the long one on every play.

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston, (ADP 6) - With a bye week on Sunday and three bad performances, Johnson hasn't lived up to last year's numbers. Some of the blame goes to Matt Schaub and some to a solid running game led by Arian Foster which has taken a few opportunities away from the passing game. He was the first receiver off the board and is currently the 13th-best in fantasy receiver points. Johnson is first-round flop No.3.

Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco, (ADP 6.23) - There should be no complaints from Gore who is fifth in running back points. He leads all backs in yards from scrimmage and has contributed in both the rushing and passing games making a solid first-round selection.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City, (ADP 8.75) - Who knew that "ancient" Thomas Jones was going to be more than a backup in this offense. After finishing the second half of 2009 as the second-best running back in the NFL behind Chris Johnson, most observers expected big thing from Charles. He's still explosive (6.0 ypc), but he's getting less touches than Jones and has yet to crack the 100-yard mark. Add in just two touchdowns and Charles is flop No.4.

Randy Moss, WR, New England/Minnesota, (ADP 9.22) - Despite catching passes from two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks,Tom Brady and Favre, Moss has 18 fantasy points less than Santana Moss and 15 points less than Roy E. Williams. Enough said - flop No.5.

Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta, (ADP 9.27) - Fantasy owners were expecting (hoping) that a healthy Turner would run like he did in 2008 when he posted 1,699 yards and 17 touchdowns. The problem is two-fold. He's not carrying the ball as much and the Falcons are bringing in Jason Snelling at the goal line. The bottom line is he's now a third-round selection at best and is first round fantasy flop No.6.

Miles Austin, WR, Dallas, (ADP 11.3) - Austin is either very, very good or very bad. He's had three "monster" games and two games where he might as well have stayed home (at Houston, at Minnesota). Still, he ranks eighth at wide receiver and has already had his bye week, so he can't be categorized as a flop.

Hopefully, the six struggling first-rounders can turn it around in the second half of the season and in the fantasy playoffs.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.


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